Gujrat Police has decided to absorb two battalions of Border Wing (BW) Home Guards in the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF). The move is aimed at extending the BW men the benefits enjoyed by the regular police personnel.
The decision was taken after Gujarat Police proposed this solution to BW battalions who were demanding seniority from the state police.
BW battalions at Palanpur and Bhuj have been working with the state police since 1971. The commandos in this force were demanding seniority from the state police to enjoy benefits of regular pay and allowances. The State Police proposed to absorb them as SRPF constables,which they rejected. Their demands for seniority is now pending with the state government.
ADGP Sudhir Sinha,In-charge Commandant General,Home Guards,said: These two battalions have several senior commandos with years of experience. They have worked during riots,clashes after the Ayodhya issue,Godhra and many sensitive and critical incidents. We proposed them to join as regular SRPF constables with a regular pay but they rejected it. They said they will loose out on seniority keeping in view their experience.
But more than 1,100 BW Home Guards in two other BW battalions at Jamnagar and Rudra Mata,raised in 1997,have given applications to join SRPF. They had first served as Lok Rakshak Dals for five years on below average salaries and are ready to compromise on few years experience to join the police force permanently as constables.
Sinha said the training and experience of BW commandos will be beneficial to SRPF and this will also give the commandos the benefits of a government servant. He added: The BW commandos are trained by Border Security Force. Many of them have experience of working on the border during crisis. Their training and arms handling skills are superior to any SRPF personnel. The BW commandos work at least six months at a stretch on all kinds of emergencies. Roping them in the police force will provide them with the required salary and recognition of a regular commando.
If the BW commandos join SRPF they will receive full salary,pension,Provident Fund,various insurance covers and all benefits of a permanent government servant. As a procedure followed by the state government,BW commandos get salary of the junior most rank of SRPF personnel. They receive others payouts on a per day basis when they are deployed on duty. The BW Home Guards are voluntary employees who work as commandos during calamities,riots,traffic and bandobast arrangements and in other times they work as employees in any private sector.
The other major reason BW commandos are demanding seniority is pendency of their salaries and payouts compared to other police units. The problem doubled up after the state government started practicing the zero budget policy. Until 1988,the annual budget was made annually. The government later started releasing funds monthly and now they have made it quarterly. Since BW commandos are not regular employees of the police force,there are longer delays during allotment of funds for them.